Toast of Decatur: champagne, arts and more this weekend
Today I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Lyn Menne, Decatur’s Assistant City Manager for Community and Economic Development, as part of a larger story about development in Decatur.
She did talk to me about the big story in Decatur today: our downtown being placed on the American Planning Association’s Top 10 list of Great Neighborhoods.
There will be a champagne toast celebrating this accomplishment. It’s at 11:45 a.m. Saturday on the Square.
Menne was working for the city in 1982 when it adopted its prescient and enduring downtown development plan. The plan sounds like common sense now, but in the 80s when Atlanta was sprawling outward, it was a radical idea.
“We took a lot of flack for it,” Menne said. “We were branded as being anti-development in the city. How dare we be a place that would talk about limiting heights and reducing automobile traffic? It was all about access to interstates.”
We all know how it turned out. It’s a big part of why the city is getting noticed by people around the country.
But look, I’m not the city’s public relations person. I’m here to hold our officials accountable and make sure they are being responsible with tax money. The city isn’t perfect. There’s still that lack of lighting on the PATH trail and there have been some troubling burglaries and robberies this year.
I told Menne that she might not agree with everything I write, but I will always try to be fair.
“I don’t expect everyone to agree with me,” Menne said. “It’d be a boring place if everybody did. I just want people to have the facts before they make up their mind.”
Hard to argue with that. I enjoy being a part of a city where people think thoughts.
If you’re out and about this weekend, don’t forget:
– The Avondale Arts Alliance will be hosting AutumnFest this weekend, Oct. 5-6, in Avondale. The event is free.
– The Decatur Arts Alliance will be hosting YEA arts event on the square on Saturday, Oct. 5, from noon until 4 p.m. The event will focus on young artists and musicians in Decatur.
– Columbia Presbyterian in Decatur is holding its annual “Pet Blessing” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5.
– If you’re looking for a nice Sunday drive out of the city, try the 8th Annual Field of Greens Festival. It’s in Walnut Grove, north of Covington. It will be held Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm. The Chef’s Tent will be hosted by Chef Ron Eyester of Rosebud, The Family Dog and Timone’s. Tickets are $35 at the gate and includes unlimited tastings from the chef’s tent.
– Also, this isn’t really an event, but I’m going to see the movie Gravity tonight. All of my friends are raving about it. I’m pretty pumped.
Enjoy this gorgeous weekend, y’all.